Saanich veteran says he enjoyed every moment of his 42 years with air force

After 42 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, veteran William Floyd thinks it’s fun to fly. Floyd joined the Air Force in 1953.

“I learned to trust people in the Royal Canadian Air Force,” Floyd said at his Saanich nursing home.

“It’s a really good service. As far as I’m concerned, the best in the world. You trust the police completely. It makes me more trustworthy because you have to. We stand up as brave Canadians for ourselves Set a good example and learn to be kind.”

Floyd was working as a mechanic in Kitimat when he learned about the life of Jeffrey de Havilland Jr., which inspired him to become a pilot. De Havilland, a British test pilot, died while testing a de Havilland DH 108 TG306 aircraft over the Thames Estuary.

“He’s got a story,” Floyd added. “It’s very inspiring. The man is totally fearless. I kind of follow him and his habits.”

Floyd traveled to about 16 countries.

“I fly everywhere. You know all the peoples. I have flown through Europe many times. It was a great experience.”

Artillery camps in North Africa are Floyd’s favorite memories of his time in the Air Force.

“We go to practice shooting twice a year. We fire thousands of rounds. We love doing it and are good at it. I pass on the message about the safety factor. We practice a lot. We haven’t had any wars, but we have close.”

Floyd was also appointed as a test pilot for Air Scotland for several months.

“I wear a couple of hats sometimes. I really enjoy flying in Scotland. They are great people.”

Floyd had seven siblings, and he remembers writing letters to his siblings during the trip.

“I try to keep them informed about what’s going on in each country. I have a big family. I also get a lot of mail.”

Floyd said he never regretted joining the Air Force.

“I enjoyed every bit of it. I had a lot of fun. I had a good job. I was paid well. We demanded good service. The Government of Canada raised our wages pretty high in 1976 and then all is well.”

Memorial Day remains important to Floyd.

“This is in memory of those who died to save our country. They died to preserve our way of life. We need to be kind to fellow Canadians right now.”

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